BBC steps up lottery draw security

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The BBC has introduced extra security measures to protect the studio that broadcasts the National Lottery draw, which this week sees a record jackpot, expected to top pounds 35m.

The organisers are determined that The National Lottery Live show - which is anticipated to attract record viewers and may even overtake the 23 million who watched the Princess of Wales's Panorama interview - should not be disrupted.

The studio was closed off yesterday and only a handful of personnel who work there were allowed in. Extra security guards have been brought in.The invited studio audience has been vetted and issued with special passes.

The special operation to protect the draw has been overseen by Neil Dickens, director of security for Camelot, the lottery operator. He will also organisetransport of the coloured balls for the draw.

Mr Dickens said: "There are extra machines and there is a secret site on standby in case the draw could not take place at the BBC for any reason."

The National Lottery Live usually attracts audiences of 13 million, but its ratings are expected to rise dramatically this weekend, surpassing the first show, watched by 20.2 million.

The record jackpot has already attracted a 40 per cent increase in the sale of lottery tickets in some outlets and more than 9 out of 10 people may play this weekend, which makes it potentially the single greatest collective event in the history of Britain.

Meanwhile, a newsagent last night confirmed that a single customer bought pounds 10,000 worth of National Lottery tickets in an attempt to increase his chancesfor this week's draw.

David McClean, 42, who runs Stars News, in Broad Street, Newtown, Powys, said: "A man came into my newsagents today and gave me pounds 10,000 for lottery tickets.

"The man wants to remain anonymous and I have to respect his wishes."